OneWeb to launch 34 satellites next month
December 10, 2019
By Chris Forrester
Would-be mega constellation operator OneWeb is to launch its first major batch of satellites at the end of January.
OneWeb will use a Russian Soyuz-2.1 rocket, but managed by Arianespace, to take 34 of its satellites into space from the cosmodrome at Baikonur in Kazakhstan on January 30th subject to last minute weather problems.
Russian space agency Roscosmos had signed a contract with Arianespace back in June 2015 for a total of 21 launches which would take an overall 672 satellites into space.
Some launches will be from Baikonur, others from Kourou in French Guiana and some from Russia’s new ‘Far East’ spaceport in Vostochny.
OneWeb sent a half-dozen satellites into space in February 2019 and is planning to debut a global broadband service starting in 2021. Eventually, the OneWeb constellation will comprise around 2000 satellites.